Q&A: Hairstylist Mario’s business start up tips

Arriving 8 years ago from Spain, Mario dreamed of living in Australia and knew that one day he would open his own hair salon. He’s now achieved both dreams and fortunately, it’s everything he expected and more. He has successfully been operating his own business, MPC Hair, for several years now whilst enjoying the Australian lifestyle, weather and diversity this country has to offer. Here, he tells us his top tips for starting a business along with his impressions of Australia.

What was your first impression of Australia? It was beautiful. It was almost like a dream come true. I spent a year and a half preparing myself to come over. I researched a lot during that time and suddenly I was there, in the picture – it was a powerful moment because it was something I wanted for so long.

MPC Hair, Kent Street, Sydney

So you have your own hair salon now. When did you first dream of opening one? Many, many years ago, probably in the early part of my career, I knew I would end up doing it but I knew I had to soak up the knowledge from everyone around me before I took that step. I’m very conscious about the failure part, I needed to be 100 percent sure before I committed. So I needed to learn from others and then shape myself to achieve that goal one day. It took me 17 years to achieve that. Some things take time; I probably could have done it earlier but it probably wouldn’t come out in the way it came out. I just waited till the right time and when it felt right. You have to listen to your own heart and your inner soul a little bit.

Can you tell us the best part of your job/business? Maybe not having a boss! That’s probably the best part of my job actually, being my own boss.

That’s probably the best part of my job actually, being my own boss.

What has been your greatest achievement in Australia so far? My greatest achievement has been becoming totally independent without anyone else apart from my own customers. I reached that with my own skills and my own knowledge. Coming from a different country, speaking a different language, everything was different and I turned it around and literally made it happen and I had to ask for some help too because to build a business you need to always ask for help to be able to grow. But after all it’s a good achievement.

To build a business you need always need to ask for help to be able to grow.

What’s been the hardest thing? Probably the mindset shift. You have to switch your mindset. You have to adjust to the environment. You have the routines, the different lifestyle, you have to shift your mindset because for a while I was between my mindset from Spain and my mindset here and you compare things and it’s obviously one is always better than the other. Just enjoy what you have instead of wishing for the other life. Because it’s hard to leave your friends behind and the people that really love you.

The thing you miss most about Spain, apart from family and friends? Food, definitely the food and the casual lifestyle.

Tell us the best thing about living in Australia. The diversity of the lifestyle, it’s pretty good because there’s a lot ofthings happening in Sydney, you’ve just got to find it. Also the nature, the weather and the food as well because it’s quite rich in other cultures so I’m very happy. I’m still here! The diversity, I think it’s very rich in diversity, the background, people, food.

There are a lot of things happening in Sydney, you’ve just got to find it. The nature and the weather and the food as well…it’s quite rich in other cultures…rich in diversity.

What advice would you give to others who want to start their own business? Use technology, software because it’s there so it makes things automated. This is important. And the patience to keep working because you have to have knowledge. Do your research about what you’re selling or the service you deliver. Always try to stay on top of the quality, it makes you stand out from the competitors.

And final question, what are the strangest habits of Australians? Oh that’s a pretty easy one! Thongs during the winter! It’s a mind blowing thing, with rain, thunderstorms, could be windy and they are wearing thongs!

Thanks for sharing your story, opinions and tips, Mario. We wish you continued success and happiness!

MPCHair